AnnArbor.com's offices will be in heart of downtown Ann Arbor

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One of the most consistent questions we've been asked since the creation of AnnArbor.com was announced is the location of our office.

We said we wanted to be in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, in a place that's highly visible and accessible to the community. We found that spot at 301 E. Liberty St.

Thumbnail image for Office building.jpgIn July we'll open our offices in 12,000 square feet of space on the first and seventh floors of 301 E. Liberty St. There will be a welcoming and interactive atmosphere at this office.

The first floor will have free wireless Internet access. We'll have comfortable couches and chairs to foster a relaxed environment where local folks can gather to discuss news and events, or simply surf the Web. Additionally, there will be a conference room that local groups may reserve as scheduling permits. There will be ample outdoor gathering space, too.

Most of AnnArbor.com's employees will occupy the seventh floor, although some members of our staff will regularly work on the first floor. We'll invite conversation and collaboration to take place in our space. 

The location of our office will be ideal for our stated goal of being of, by and for the community. The office is within walking distance to the public library, the main bus station, government buildings and many restaurants, retailers and other businesses. It is truly in the center of Ann Arbor's core downtown business district. 

We're anxious to move in and we'll keep you updated on our progress. And once we're in the space, don't be a stranger. We hope you'll stop by to visit. 

21 Comments

I miss the coffee shop that used to be in that first floor space.

It had wireless Internet access, as well as comfortable couches and chairs that fostered a relaxed environment where local folks gathered to discuss news and events, or simply surf the Web.

There was also a conference room that local groups reserved as scheduling permitted. Ample outdoor gathering space, too!

So... this will be just like that was, only without Zingerman's pastries and baristas?

I agree with Les. How does it happen that a going concern that many of us have depended on as a central social location is suddenly being substituted with a wannabe replacement?

I'd call this a dark beginning, to be honest. First thing you do is justify, publicly, the change from the place we all used and liked to your personal PR room.

Thanks for the comments, l.m.orchard and Bill.

Bill, I'm not sure if you are asking why we chose this location, or why Primo Coffee closed. I really liked Primo, too, and I know a lot of folks did. But I can't answer why the store closed, if that is your ultimate question. You would want to talk to the owner.

We think this is going to be a great location for us, for a variety of reasons we mentioned above. We wanted to be in the heart of downtown and we wanted to have a ground-floor location because we want to be accessible. We want the public to feel connected to AnnArbor.com.

Hopefully we'll create that same sort of collaborative atmosphere that you enjoyed when Primo Coffee was the tenant. That's the goal.

First they hired a NY firm to design their logo, now they're hoisting Ann Arbor companies out of their locations? Good Bye Premo, HELLLOOOO, a poorly produced, outsourced, so-called "Local" website, run by scabs and a corrupt ineffective management that understands ONLINE about as well as they understand Ann Arbor.

big mistake.

not because of the previous first floor tenant , but because of the rent$$$- this has got to be quite a monthly chucko'change. you guys do fancy yourselves as a start-up, oui?

i have been (and will continue to be) supportive of your effort to transition from the brick and mortally wounded world of print to online, but repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results has already been defined.

Stefanie: If you guys can create an authentically great resource / gathering point for the community, more power to you. There's certainly a need, and it seems like media's future is hyperlocal.

Also, kudos for letting questions & criticism appear in comments - and good luck in handling the comments :)

"But I can't answer why the store closed, if that is your ultimate question. You would want to talk to the owner."

Gosh, if only there were some kind of news gathering agency that focused on Ann Arbor. They could find out about what's happening with local businesses, like Primo, and then report on what they learned. Heck, they could even do their reporting online.

Stefanie,

Since annarbor.com's announcement regarding its space comes a few short days after Primo's closed, it looks very much like Primo's was forced out to make room for annarbor.com. Is this the case?

Why did A2 news kick Primo out of its location??

This issue is between the building owner and the tenant. We negotiated the lease for AnnArbor.Com. We were offered many spaces in the Ann Arbor area, some with tenants, some without. We were informed by the landlord of this building that the 7th floor and the main floor were available. AnnArbor.com's decision to take the space had nothing to do with the coffee shop closing. It was a landlord tenant issue. Having worked directly with AnnArbor.com people, I know they were very sensitive to the well-being of all businesses in the area.

Jim Chaconas
Colliers International

AnnArbor.com would have been a joke if they worked out of the printing plant on State St. While I still remain terribly disappointed about the decision to close the News, I must admit everything they have done since makes a lot of sense.

Tom: Thanks for the note. And I'm glad Jim jumped on here to comment because I would have probably referred your question to him anyhow since I wasn't part of these discussions. I will miss Primo being downtown, too, like a lot of the commenters here.

Ethan's Mom: AnnArbor.com will begin reporting and posting stories the week of July 20 when we launch the site. Until then, The Ann Arbor News will be covering news, sports, entertainment and business stories in Washtenaw County at mlive.com/ann-arbor.

The issue may have been between the building owner and the tenant, but the building owner has to have been motivated by the potential deal with annarbor.com. The same day Primo goes dark, it is announced that annarbor.com is taking over that space.

Interesting thought-

"I know they were very sensitive to the well-being of all businesses in the area."

Sensitivity was not the impression that I got when they came through my office unannounced and we were notified two weeks later that we have to move. Bullying is more like it.

I'm highly skeptical about this business model. What supports this infrastructure? That's A LOT of web advertising to pay staff and the rent. We'll see in a couple years.

In the meantime they have displaced one of the only businesses that was ever popular on the 1st floor (Primo Coffee) and two other paying tenants. WF

Tom,

While I have no information on the provisions in the Primo lease, I can tell you that we are definitely being forced out of our 7th floor location for this annarbor.com thing. There is no other way to describe it. So, one has to wonder.

William Fagan
Fuji Arts Inc.
301 E. Liberty Suite 725

Apparenlty, many of these posters aren't familiar with capitalism. Isn't anyone surprised by that in A2? A landlord will try to get the highest rent possible. There's no use crying about it.

Blog reader- first thought, post your name. Who knows what your agenda is otherwise. Maybe you are a part of aa.com . I post my name. You know my agenda. Of course I am familiar with capitalism. I am a retailer. Silly comment.

Yeah, that would be the owners of Ann Arbor News. I'd assume they own the Ann Arbor News building outright, correct? Did the company consider moving annarbor.com into that building and renting out other portions or floors in the building? Wouldn't that have made more fiscal sense then renting an expensive place downtown Ann Arbor?

Wishing you great success. Everything changes in time. You'll get through this change. Buildings are largely irrelevant. Focus on your content.

WF - Does "forced out" mean contract violation?

WF- I too would like to hear more about this "forced out", I am under the impression that if you have a contract and are in good standing on payment you could not be forced out. were you on a month to month or a reduced rate plan that did not require a contract? Just curious, I don't fee like we received the full story on this.

Either way I hope you find a great new location, I tend to have the belief that things happen for a reason. I wish you success in your new location.

I do think people blaming AA.com is a little off base since they are only the new tenant and not the landlord.

Also it appears to me AA.com is trying to fill a void left by some unfortunate circumstances and everything done so far appears to be in the best interest of the community. I hope AA.com does well and it shouldn't matter if ownership is from out of town, in todays economy we all should be thankful that out of town businesses believe that something like this is a viable project in a Michigan community.

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